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Spin City - The Complete Sixth Season


TITLE: SPIN CITY - THE COMPLETE SIXTH SEASON


Info:

DVD Release Date: December 13, 2011 (Shout! Factory)
Color/2001-2002
MSRP: $29.93
Packaging: Amaray Case
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 22
Running time: Approx. 480 minutes
Video: Full Screen 1.33:1
Audio Tracks: Dolby Digital 2.0
Closed Captioned
Special Features: None


Introduction:

Charlie Sheen returns as Deputy Mayor Charlie Crawford in the final season of Spin City. When there's trouble in the Big Apple, there's only one man who can spin the mess into success. Actually, make that two: Michael J. Fox returns for a multi-episode arc, reprising his role as the self-assured but affable Mike Flaherty.

With Caitlin's (Heather Locklear) old flame Mike back in town, the tension rises almost as high as the comedy when he decides to go to work on the Mayor's (Barry Bostwick) re-election campaign. Meanwhile, Charlie and Caitlin's feelings for each other reach the boiling point.

Also starring Richard Kind (Mad About You), Alan Ruck (Ferris Bueller's Day Off) and Michael Boatman (Arli$$), Spin City Season Six marks the finale of one of television's greatest comedy series.


Episodes:

Spin City moved to Tuesday nights on ABC for the sixth and final season. Michael J. Fox returns for the first three episodes of the season. In the season premiere, "The Arrival," Mike shows up at Caitlin's to announce that he's met someone. Guest stars included Ted Shackelford as Barry, Farrah Fawcett as Judge Claire Simmons and Jorge Garcia as Cabbie. The mayor has a tree cut down to impress his new girlfriend in "A Tree Falls in Manhattan." Olivia d'Abo appeared as Allison and Denise Richards played Jennifer. Mike calls off his engagement with Allison and increases his presence in the office, making Charlie feel threatened in "Wife with Mikey." Olivia d'Abo returned as Allison. The mayor's approval ratings are going down, thanks to his relationship with the not-yet-divorced Judge Simmons in "The Apartment." Farrah Fawcett returned as Claire. Carter's friend Michelle (Lori Loughlin) visits and begins dating Stuart in "Yet Another Stakeout." The mayor hires a political strategist to act as his campaign consultant in "Yeah Baby!." Guest stars included Queen Latifah as Robin Jones, Lori Loughlin as Michelle and Krista Allen as Jesse.

The mayor prepares to debate his opponent, while Charlie and Jennifer, his opponent's campaign manager have been dating for 3 weeks in "Sleeping with the Enemy." Queen Latifah and Denise Richards returned in this episode. Charlie discovers that Jennifer's ex is a woman in "She's Gotta Habit." Guest stars included Queen Latifah, Denise Richards, Farrah Fawcett and Kathryn Joosten as Sister Agnes. Caitlin's mother Jane comes to visit when Caitlin tells her she finally has a boyfriend in "The Wedding Scammer." The Mayoral race hits a snag when Mayor Winston's opponent suffers a heart attack which forces him to drop out of the running, but his wife, Nancy Wheeler, steps in to take his place and surges in the polls due to an outpouring of sympathy in "Flight Flub." Elizabeth Mitchell guest starred as Nancy Wheeler. Charlie endangers his relationship with Jennifer when he realizes that he loves his staff more than her in "Chinatown." Denise Richards and Farrah Fawcett returned in this episode. Caitlin makes plans with the City Hall Santa without knowing what he looks like in "An Office and a Gentleman." Lori Loughlin returns as Michelle.

Caitlin finds love with an older man, Tom -- whose daughter, Tracy, flirts with Charlie in "O Mother, Where Art Thou?." Judith Light guest starred as Christine. Caitlin surprises Charlie on his birthday by inviting his father, Ray (Martin Sheen), for a visit in "Rags to Riches." The Mayor's niece, Stephanie, pays a visit to City Hall and flirts with Charlie, who reciprocates - until he finds out who she is in "Sex, Lies and Video Date." Amy Jo Johnson appears as Stephanie. When Carter is unexpectedly called to a late-night meeting, Charlie's left in charge of entertaining Spencer (John Francis Daley), a 16-year-old boy whom Carter sponsors through the "Big Brother" program in "Eyes Wide Open." Charlie has a hard time keeping up with Tracy, his new 23-year-old girlfriend who likes to party every night in "Age Against the Machine."

Caitlin takes a trip down memory lane and realizes that she and Charlie met years before and that he was the reason why she lost what might have been the best relationship of her life in "An Affair Not to Remember." Caitlin is confused by the kiss she and Charlie shared and seeks the advice of a therapist in "Let's Give Them Something to Talk About." Caitlin ends her relationship with Tom and tells Charlie she's interested in dating him in "Look Who's Not Talking." Charlie and Caitlin struggle to find security in their new relationship in "A Tale of Four Cities." Charlie and Caitlin are caught having sex on a surveillance camera in the Mayor's office and their secret affair is blown in "A Friend in Need."

All of the episodes have running times over over 21 minutes, except for "Age Against the Machine" which runs only 20:01. That episode may have just run 60-90 seconds shorter originally than the rest of this season's episodes. There's nothing on the packaging to indicate that any music was changed for this release. The season premiere episode has "Last time on Spin City" opening tag. Here is the breakdown by disc, including the original airdates and run times:

Disc 1
---------
The Arrival (09/25/01) (21:11)
A Tree Falls in Manhattan (09/25/01) (21:34)
Wife with Mikey (10/02/01) (21:30)
The Apartment (10//09/01) (21:37)
Yet Another Stakeout (10/16/01) (21:36)
Yeah Baby! (10/23/01) (21:31)

Disc 2
---------
Sleeping with the Enemy (11/06/01) (21:35)
She's Gotta Habit (11/06/01) (21:36)
The Wedding Scammer (11/13/01) (21:36)
Fight Flub (11/20/01) (21:36)
Chinatown (11/27/01) (21:30
An Office and a Gentleman (12/11/01) (21:38)

Disc 3
---------
O Mother, Where Art Thou? (01/08/02) (21:37)
Rags to Riches (03/05/02) (21:36)
Sex, Lies and Video Date (03/12/02) (21:37>
Eyes Wide Open (03/19/02) (21:38)
Age Against the Machine (03/26/02) (20:01)

Disc 4
---------
An Affair Not to Remember (04/09/02) (21:22)
Let's Give Them Something to Talk About (04/16/02) (21:36)
Look Who's Not Talking (04/23/02) (21:36)
A Tale of Four Cities (04/30/02) (21:36)
A Friend in Need (04/30/02) (21:36)


Packaging:

The 4-disc set contains all 22 episodes from the sixth and final season (2001-02). It comes in a clear plastic Amaray case, just like seasons 4 and 5. Seasons 1-3 used slim cases held in a cardboard box. The season six cover art features Charlie Sheen and the lovely Heather Locklear, with the Spin City logo in the upper left. The main color of this set is sky blue. A synopsis of the set, the DVD specs and four small photos from the episodes are found on the back of the case. Spin City Season Six is written on the spine of the case. Opening up the case, there are 2 photos of Heather Locklear/Charlie Sheen and Alan Ruck/Barry Bostwick dressed as a woman. The episode titles and original airdates are listed by disc. Unfortunately, there is no episode guide booklet included like they had for the early seasons. Disc 1 has a photo of Charlie Sheen, Barry Bostwick and Heather Locklear and contains episodes 1-6 from this season. Disc 2 has a photo of Michael Boatman and Alan Ruck and contains episodes 7-12. Disc 3 features a solo shot of Richard Kind and contains episodes 13-17. Disc 4 has Charlie Sheen and Heather Locklear and rounds out the set with episodes 18-22.


Menu Design and Navigation:

The menus are bright and easy to navigate. The short theme music is played and the Spin City manhole logo is animated and spins until it lands in the upper left corner of the screen where it has some flashes. A series of videoclips (about a minutes worth and different on each disc) play in a triangular-shaped area on the right side of the screen. The menus have a pink/purple background. There are options for "Play All" and "Episode Selection" at the bottom of the screen. When you choose Episode Selection, it takes you to a sub-menu where there is a still image from each episode with the episode title. A blue-tinted New York City skyline is used. There are 3 episodes per screen. The episode you select is highlighted with a yellow border that turns red upon your selection. Chapter stops are available within the episodes, but there are no separate menus for scene selections.


Video and Audio Quality:

These episodes are about 10-years-old and look very good. Spin City was shot on film with multiple cameras and in front of a studio audience. The episodes are presented in their original full frame 1.33:1 ratio and in their original broadcast order. The overall video quality is excellent and slightly better than the first few seasons. The colors and sharpness are very good and without any major problems, just a little grain here and there. For the closing logo enthusiasts, there are logos for UBU Productions, LotteryHill Entertainment and DreamWorks.

The audio is your standard Dolby Digital 2.0 track. The volume is at a good level, and the dialogue is easy to understand. They shot in front of a studio audience, so the laughter is real. Closed captioning is available on all of the episodes.


Special Features:

Unfortunately, we once again have no special features on this set. The first season had some nice interviews and audio commentaries. That was the only season to include any bonus material. It would have been nice to have a series retrospective on this final season.


Final Comments:

All 6 seasons and 145 episodes of Spin City are now available on DVD. Shout! Factory did a nice job releasing them over the last three years. It's disappointing that only the first season included any special features, but it's nice to have the episodes in excellent quality and in unedited form. I wasn't sure how quickly or even if the Charlie Sheen seasons would be released when this show originally came to DVD, but we ended up getting the final three seasons in 2011. It probably helped that he was in the news so much over the last year.

My favorite seasons of the show are with Michael J. Fox. Despite many timeslot changes and moves, the show was a pretty solid hit in the ratings in the early years. Three of the first four seasons were in the top 40. The final two seasons saw a huge drop in the ratings and ultimately led to the show's cancellation in 2002. Charlie Sheen was pretty good in the lead role, and Heather Locklear was as lovely as ever. Sheen basically played the same type of character that he would go on to play on Two and a Half Men: a trouble-prone womanizer with a lot of former girlfriends. He really hadn't done much television work before Spin City, so this kind of put him on the map. It would be only a year after Spin City ended that he landed his role on Two and Half Men. Winning.


Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)

Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 0/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4.5/5
Overall: 4/5

-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller on 12/11/11

To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B005M5OS6K/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20

Questions or comments about this set? Post on our message board:

http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=293635


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